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Video: The Cheapest & Most Effective Ways to Make Your Bike Fit You

Sep 5, 2023 at 16:03
by Pinkbike Originals  

Christina Chappetta, with support from Deity, explores the topic of cockpit setup and shares how we can change the entire feel of our bike so it works better for us with just a few tweaks


This video is presented by Deity

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Member since Feb 15, 2012
1,119 articles

  • 113 14
 Thanks ChatGPT:

In this video transcript, the speaker discusses various ways to adjust bike cockpit components to optimize a rider's position and weight distribution on the bike. Here are the key points and takeaways:

Adjustments for Rider and Terrain: The video emphasizes the importance of making adjustments to the bike's cockpit to suit different riders or varying terrain. These adjustments can significantly impact the bike's performance.

Geometry Flip Chips: The speaker mentions the use of geometry flip chips in some bikes, which can change the bike's head and seat tube angles to alter weight distribution. This can be useful for different riding styles and terrain.

Stem Length: Stem length is a critical factor in bike fit. A longer stem brings the rider's weight forward, which can enhance front-end grip, while a shorter stem shifts the weight rearward, aiding braking and maneuvering on steep terrain.

Handlebar Width: Handlebar width is discussed in relation to stem length. Wider bars can compensate for shorter stems, providing more leverage and control. Conversely, narrower bars complement longer stems for quicker handling.

Bar Rise: Bar rise impacts body position. Higher-rise bars shift weight back and upward, which can be useful on steep descents. Lower-rise bars keep weight more forward for improved front-end grip.

Bar Roll: Bar roll (fore and aft adjustment) can affect body position and forearm comfort. More forward roll can maximize the benefits of higher-rise bars but may compromise stability during braking.

Stem Position: The position of the stem on the steerer tube can change the effective length of the bike. Lowering the stem effectively lengthens the bike, while raising it shortens it.

Seat Rail Adjustments: The effective seat tube angle can be adjusted by moving the saddle along the seat rails. This affects weight distribution and can be beneficial for climbing or flat terrain.

Grip Diameter: Grip diameter impacts comfort and brake feel. Larger-diameter grips can reduce vibration but may affect grip strength. Smaller-diameter grips offer stronger braking control.

Professional Bike Fitting: For those seeking precise adjustments and experiencing discomfort, it is advisable to consult a professional bike fitter who can provide personalized recommendations.

The speaker highlights the importance of experimenting with these adjustments to find the right balance and comfort level for each rider's unique preferences and body type.
  • 29 0
 HA! no mention of adjusting seat height when adjusting seat rail adjustment. Humans are still ahead...just. When they get that...well, that's when Skynet takes over.
  • 27 1
 @Segamethod My hero! Please do this for all video only articles! Theres no way I'm watching nigh on 15 minutes of video when I could read 3 minutes of text.
  • 14 2
 TLDR: It summarizes the cheapest and most effective ways to make your bike fit you.
  • 3 1
 All the accountants thank you. Zzzzzzz...
  • 14 1
 Thank you for being PB journalist and delivering Quality text content to the reader, allowing to skip video content.
  • 4 7
 @gabiusmaximus: apparently reading is too much of an effort, passively watching a video is bare minimum brain effort so that's what people want, clearly their time isn't worth much if they accept to trade 3min vs 15min just out of laziness. Especially for a video saying such bland things, like there is literally nothing interesting or new in all the info provided.
  • 9 1
 @Balgaroth: To be honest most of the time there is such a video I just jump straight to the comment section. Even a long text allows you to quickly skip to the interesting bits, videos don't quite allow for that.

@danielfloyd: Quite a few of those options aren't particularly cheap. Yes you can borrow a different stem but so can you borrow a different bike. Stems, bars etc aren't particularly cheap. Yes twisting dials is cheap when you have them, but suspension units with (external) adjustments aren't particularly cheap either. If these are the "cheapest" options, I'm already stocking popcorn for when the follow up movie drops. "The most expensive (and least effective) ways to may you fit your bike."
  • 3 2
 sorry GPT, you didn't catch the point: it's Deity. Forget about the stuff about bike adjustments
  • 12 6
 Ahh. Convert a good video and good presentation into mediocre content. AI, mediocrity for the masses
  • 6 0
 @noplacelikeloam: by good you mean entertaining right ? Jersey shore is considered entertaining by many, so they consider it as being good, yet it is devoid of any interesting information. AI can't create information if there is not information to start with and its purpose was not to transmit the entertainment of the video so it didn't.
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: No, the vid is there only to show Deity logo, nothing more. It's hard to put "Deity" every second text line without looking ridiculous. Plus they get views on YT. So the format is vid just to make more money, nothing else really.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: yeah rather than "pinkbike originals" is should be "Pinkbike advertorials" and be clearly labelled as sponsored content, it would still be as pointless, still he entertaining for some, but at least it would be honest.
  • 1 0
 It even managed to miss out all the adverts and product placements that made up the majority of the video
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Thats easy. But a new bike for my sponsor or the company paying pb for the advertising in it
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: One can ask ChatGPT to write in a certain style, can't you? I suppose make it as if written by Rob Warner or Billy Thackray should work. Any ChatGPT operator willing to give that a try? I miss Billy Thackray and I feel he's the best ever to communicate complex information like this.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Rob Warner with Chat GPT told to give me a mix of colourful language and signature metaphors:

"Alright, mate, let's break this down before you make a complete balls-up of your bike setup. Picking your bike is like choosing a partner for a dance-off: you don't want something that looks good but moves like a brick in treacle!

Your adjustments, they're as tricky as trying to wrestle a soapy otter. Get it right, and you're flying. Bollocks it up, and you're sliding all over the place, probably eating shit at the first berm.

Flip chips? Bloody hell, it's like swapping out hot sauce for ketchup. Both have their place, but one's definitely spicier!

Stem length's a kicker. It's the difference between driving a double-decker bus and a bloody rally car. Choose poorly, and you might as well be trying to drive a boat on a motorway.

Wide bars are the dog's bollocks nowadays, like swapping out a toy sword for Excalibur. But if you're not swinging it right, it's just a bigger stick to poke your eye out.

Alright, mate, dial it in, get it sorted, and don’t cock it up. And if you do? Well, pick yourself up, swear a bit, and get back on. That's the bloody spirit!"
  • 2 0
 @vinay: And this was Billy Thackray, but truthfully I don't know who that is, so I have no idea if this is in any way correct:

In t'days of ride and rally,
There's a choice, it's quite uncanny,
About how to set your bike just right,
For hills steep or valleys.

With a click or two to adjust,
Find the grip, in which you trust,
But geometry's more than just PSI,
It's about balance, that's a must!

There's this thing, the flip chip's name,
Change your weight, transform the game,
For steep terrain or turns quite flat,
It helps, though it's not the sole aim.

Then stem length, let's understand,
Shifts your weight o'er the land,
Longer stem means frontward thrust,
While shorter makes your stand quite grand.

But it's not simple, as you see,
Long stem's leverage, precise as can be,
But when slopes turn steep, by gum,
You'll need some different strategy.

Handlebars, their width and rise,
Shift your weight, to skies or thighs,
Too wide or too high might feel quite strange,
But it's all about size, my guise.

Bar roll, a game of degrees,
Forward or back, as you please,
It affects your form, your very stance,
It's like the wind in the trees.

Lastly, the steer tube’s slide,
Adjust the stem, side to side,
It's more than height, it’s bike’s dimension,
In this ride, there’s no place to hide.

So, for every rider, tall or small,
There's a perfect setup, once and for all,
To make your ride smooth, and swift, and free,
Heed these tips, and you'll surely enthral!
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: Not sure whether he's that much of a poet to be honest. He was writing in Dirt Magazine primarily before they went online and I'm a bit concerned ChatGPT sucks at doing paperwork. Either way, this is an interview I found of him which they did put online. dirtmountainbike.com/bike-reviews/billy-thackrays-liteville-301-review-committed It's a quality interview and I'd love if the Pinkbike editors would eventually reach his high standards.
  • 1 1
 @Balgaroth: I mean that a good presentation video captures a level of human emotion and comedic value that AI is very far from achieving. @christinachappetta has a style to her presentation, it works, its relatable and it keeps you watching more. Meanwhile AI is mostly technically correct but without the nuances that make us want to engage and understand the presenters POV. Its like a creative that got through design school but cant design for sh*t. It will get there, I think, but for now, its fun to watch AI get misused all over the marketing landscape. Truly epic sometimes!

PB has some really good talent presenting these days and is doing a great job writing multiple meanings and narratives into scripts. @christinachappetta is certainly one of their best and comes across genuine. More of the gang please.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: there is a Warhammer 40k Youtube channel that is all voiced over in Sr Attenborough's voice and dictation manners so while Chat GPT might not he able to do it, AI is definitely able to doad stuff like that.
As for the added value of presenters and else, yeah sure but I only value it it there is knowledge and information to start with. Otherwise it is advertorials that take the form of entertainment, neither of which I am a client of Knowledge and info > Entertainment and presentation, every single time for me.
  • 16 3
 Before you spend cash on parts or a new ride it's also worth considering if your body position is right and working on fixing that first if not. One session with a coach will answer that. Doing that will likely place you longer and flatter on the bike, extending your reach and potentially even changing your bike size. Probably best do that before you drop cash on a new bike.. don't ask me how I know.
  • 8 2
 Disagree. Who wants to ride a bike that feels too big or too small because someone else told you it looks like the right size? Most important thing is being comfortable so you can enjoy your riding time.
  • 5 0
 @jwdenver: It was the opposite, the coach sorted out my position which felt so much better on descents and particularly in corners and was more comfortable once my body got used to it. But as a result the bike then felt too small because I was more stretched out.
  • 5 2
 @Woody25: "The bike then felt too small because I was more stretched out" Hmmmm?
  • 9 2
 @MOBrules: Sorry, not following, is it the use of the word 'stretched' that's the issue? Perhaps that's a bad choice. I went from more upright with a curved back, to more hip hinged with a flatter back. Both of those changes increase the horizontal distance from my feet to my hands (which is what I meant by stretched out, i.e. the distance is further). It's not an opinion, it's just what happened in my case, and would happen for anyone who changed their riding position in that way (all other variables being equal).
  • 3 0
 @Woody25: I've experienced this exact thing on my flat bar gravel bike. I specc'd it the same frame as my road frames, 56 cm, but wasn't super well-versed in the ways a flat bar would change the fit of the bike. But riding like you were, with an arched back, I didn't notice too many problems. I kind of self-discovered the benefits of rotating my pelvis forward (I had heard this tip years ago but never implemented it), only to realize my bikes felt too short now.
  • 1 0
 I've found that people in general have difficulty paying for a service, where the product is not a physical object, e.g. a bike fit, training program, coaching--despite the fact that all that I've mentioned are objectively going to make anyone a better, faster rider (sometimes in the span of an afternoon if it's skills coaching).

I don't think it's the cost, because it's clear that cyclists will pay more for parts than what a professional bike fit or coaching costs.
  • 1 0
 @XC-Only: if i go to my LBS i can sound intelligent while giving them $$$ for a new bike :-) i've tried coaching but didn't understand the jargon and couldn't remember it afterwards ...
  • 10 0
 Try before you buy! Buying based off numbers alone is only half the story
  • 12 1
 Fact! Another great excuse to keep spare parts around the house haha I always need more excuses for that...
  • 6 0
 @christinachappetta: this was what annoyed me so much about the move to 35mm diameter bars! I have lots of bars and stems from old bikes, but now it seems whatever combination of bar and stem I want to try one is 31.8 and one is 35.
  • 7 0
 I find it interesting how much effort is put into road bike fitment but in so many MTB purchases it boils down to how it "feels" on the shop floor or in a parking lot.
  • 13 0
 @southshorepirate: in all fairness, on a road bike you are in one seated position most the time. on a mountain bike, you are far more dynamic so fit is less steady.
  • 4 7
 @adrennan: and road biking sucks.
  • 1 0
 True if only demo days existed like they did 5 years ago before manufacturers realised they could get away without having to bother
  • 1 0
 @southshorepirate: I think it's due to the "history" that road biking has, so the number of "road bike fitters" (or try bike fitters) for that matter, is considerably more. Combined with a relatively more static position, you have less of a margin for error before hurting yourself through a poor position. MTBing is more dynamic, and the riding itself requires the body to adapt to the terrain, and consequently the bike fit itself. Lastly, but not least, it all boils down to how sensitive you are to position changes and how tightly you want to cling to your "ideal numbers".
  • 5 0
 If you have enough steerer, experiment with adding or subtract 10mm of spacer stack hight below the stem, bracket, and dial in. You’ll be amazed at how much a little bit of stack can alter the feel (especially on a slack HTA). and it is free to do.
  • 1 0
 And keep at least ten millimeters of spacers on top of the stem for future adjustments! In my case i needed those ten millimeters to account for the higher stack of clipless pedals vs flats.
  • 1 0
 Is there a rough estimate or calculation on how much your reach will change by adding spacers? Slammed on the headset cap vs 20mm of spacers?
  • 1 0
 @abtcup: for a given headangle it's simple trigonometrie. There are websites that will calculate it for you, i just can't remember the name.
  • 2 0
 @abtcup: should be about 4.2mm per 10mm spacer for a 65° HA, slightly more for a slacker HA, less for a steeper one.

The website is bike-stats.de for example.
  • 2 0
 @abtcup: go on, get in the rabbit hole Smile . yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
  • 5 0
 Great video. I hear so many people reference "rules" that you need to follow but you did a great job making it clear that these are all relative to each persons body proportions and what each adjustment brings to the table.
  • 2 0
 Excellent video! I have been playing with my bar/stem setup a bit more lately and it's amazing how much you can improve your ride by understanding the effects of these simple adjustments and solving some quirky bike handling issues.
  • 3 1
 Thanks Christina for digging into this very sensitive subject, and I know it's far from being easy. It takes time to find the cockpit that fits everyone's bike and style depending on the terrains as well. You didn't mention it but the fork's offset and the head tube angle can really influence the stem and bar's choices. Great job anyway. Cheers!!!
  • 2 0
 Absolutely! I used to ride 50mm stems on my 65deg bike and now on the 63.5deg HA sled the shorter stem feels better. That is on the same bike with an angle set. Bar width I tried to but ended with the same
  • 2 0
 This video is terrible people! If the bike doesn't work buy a different one and post the bad one in the buy-sell for cheap. I am in particular need of a size small trail bike for my wife....so give up already and post it in the buy sell.
  • 4 0
 What's going on here? Information about how NOT to spend money for a better ride?
  • 1 0
 I went into this thinking I don’t need it, since I already spent many trying many things for my set up.
This was fantastic though.. Saved in favorites for reference.
One thing I was shocked to discover was the effect of moving my clip-less cleats fore/aft. Free reach adjustment!
  • 1 0
 Great video with lots of good information, particularly about bar roll which isn't given the attention it deserves in my opinion.

I'd like to add that I've found that changing fork travel affects bike fit and feel significantly. I've added 10-20mm of travel to all my forks and found I'm in a better riding position in addition to the benefits of having more travel. The change can be done by swapping the air shaft for $75 and can be done during the time your fork needs service.

Of course, like anything else with bike fit, there are tradeoffs. Your frame warranty may be voided, your fork may not allow for extended travel, and the steering/handling may get too slow. But I've found increasing fork travel by 10-20mm to be just enough to soften the ride, allow me to absorb bigger hits, and put me up into a stronger and more comfortable riding position without much, if any, drawbacks to handling.
  • 4 0
 Deity FTW, great bunch of people!
  • 3 0
 This is such a great video, short enough for everyone to watch but thorough enough to get a good understanding.
  • 4 0
 My bike is perfect, my body is what's off.
  • 4 1
 Rulezman explained it better soooo
  • 2 0
 Omm ESL is the way forward.
  • 7 0
 Rulezman did not get money from Deity though Smile
  • 3 0
 So do they make 75mm rise bars like my Spanks?
  • 1 0
 Holy!!! That would be a wild ride.
  • 6 0
 You can find the Highside Handlebars in 31.8mm and 35mm bore clamp diameters in both 50mm and 80mm rise here!

  • 1 2
 The last time i used super high rise, they bent an I just about died... suuuper flexy
  • 4 0
 "who's chopper is this?"
"It's Zed's"
"Who's Zed?"
:"Zed's dead, baby..."
  • 1 0
 @noideamtber: Not an issue with the Highsides;Strongest handlebars on the market!
  • 1 0
 Or the poor person's version, Ergotec 6 - 70mm rise, 12° backsweep
  • 5 2
 Outstanding content, thanks Christina!
  • 1 0
 Skip the bike, do parkour.
  • 3 2
 15min? that's about 12 too many.
  • 1 0
 Nice video, works components have helped my bike to fit for years too.
  • 1 0
 Head tube angle and reach adjust headsets have gone out of style?
  • 5 0
 They are if you don’t make them but you do make stems and bars….
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: I kinda feel for Christina for having to create such sponsored content. It kinda messes with her credibility whilst she's also doing such a great job creating independent reviews. First the Shimano automatic shifting thing (attempting to convince me that manual gear shifting on a bike is hard work and manual gear shifting in a car is near impossible), now this.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Paid advert is a paid advert I suppose so promote the brand that’s footing the bill.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: this whole site is a payola gradient. From obvious stuff like this all the way over to social status in their small town / region / scene. It’s all transactional.
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: at least Deity isn’t making garbage parts.
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: they don’t ‘make’ anything.

Only people making headsets like that are wolf tooth and works co, both make the parts themselves, both in my experience miles away from ‘garbage’ assuming you mean them, or do I have the wrong end of the stick?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: she has being doing that for along time on pb
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: wrong end, but you're right.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Superstarcomponents makes their reach and head angle adjust headsets themselves too.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: cane creek makes their angleset themselves, but I would never buy one. Implementation is as important, or more, to the final product as where the parts are hand loaded into a pre-programmed automated process.
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: Yea the cane creek one is shite, the Works, WT and Superstar (missed them, they have kind of disappeared) are all good, or don't you like any of them?

Have you ever worked around or have any real world experience of these 'pre-programed automated' processes out of interest?
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: The issue with Superstarcomponents nowadays is that you can't place orders below 150GBP. I used to buy chainrings etc from them, but unless maybe you want to buy a pre-built wheel or order with a lot of buddies together, you don't easily exceed those 150GBP.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I get the feeling they have moved onto more profitable forms of manufacturing vs bike parts and don't want / need the hassle.

They have completely ditched the wheels for this reason.

Not a huge fan myself as have had issues and poor customer service and alternatives aren't much more expensive.
  • 1 0
 @DaveRobinson81: yea we covered that a few hrs ago bab
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I have used Works in the past with much success, no noise and held up to both moon dust riding and mud baths, from basic trail riding to DH at Mountain Creek.

Manufacturing experience, yes. Both by hand and automated. Anything with a bore in it can be checked by a simple go/no-go type guage. But that's assuming the drawing was correct, the programming was correct, tooling maintenance and replacement guidelines were followed, the machine operator isn't fuzzy, parts are actually pulled and tested per the engineers current/latest schedule, nobody drops it in packaging, palleting, hauling, shipping etc. Add in laser engraving, anodizing or whatever other surface finishing (gotta check sizing again) and it all turns into wanting a lot of hands on parts. Pull random parts from shipment at the warehouse to check 1/10 or 100 or 1000 depending on quantities shipped just to make sure things are what the factory says they are (not super likely usually).

Then we can talk about FOB shipping, when do we pay and in what currency? It goes on and on. I don't do that anymore.
  • 2 0
 @somebody-else: sounds like you have a split personality my man.
  • 1 1
 The video was definitely educational and it would be helpful to have a process of how and when to apply the changes.
  • 1 0
 Bar Sweep?

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